3.52 (1,873 ratings by Goodreads)
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In her Muslim hijab, with her down-turned gaze, Najwa is invisible to most eyes, especially to the rich families whose houses she cleans. Twenty years ago, Najwa, then at university in Khartoum, would never have imagined that one day she would be a maid. An upper class westernised Sudanese, her dreams were to marry well and raise a family. Then a coup forces the young woman and her family into political exile in London. The years that follow hold more trials for Najwa and the realization that she has come down in the world. But she finds solace - in her visits to the Regents Park Mosque, the companionship among the Muslims she meets there and strength in the hijab she adopts. Her dreams of love may have shattered but her awakening to Islam has given her a different peace. Then Najwa meets Tamer, the intense, lonely younger brother of her employer. They find a common bond in faith and slowly, silently, begin to fall in love
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Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 138 x 216 x 32mm | 498.96g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0747576262
  • 9780747576266
  • 1,557,451

Review quote

Praise for The Translator: 'A story of love and faith all the more moving for the restraint with which it is written' J. M. Coetzee 'A novel that tries to give Muslims their due Aboulela shows the rich possibilities of living in the West with different, non-Western, ways of knowing and thinking' Sunday Herald Praise for Coloured Lights: 'Moving, gentle, ironic, quietly angry and beautifully written' Ben Okri 'This is the modern female voice fresh, diverse, challenging, uninhibited' Rachel Cusk
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About Leila Aboulela

Leila Aboulela was born in 1964 and grew up in Khartoum. She is the author of two books: a novel, The Translator which was published to critical acclaim in 1999 and a book of short stories, Coloured Lights published in 2000. Leila Aboulela lives between Djakarta and Aberdeen.
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Rating details

1,873 ratings
3.52 out of 5 stars
5 17% (315)
4 36% (674)
3 33% (615)
2 11% (209)
1 3% (60)
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